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Windows 7: Format shifting dead trees: can e-book piracy be ethica

08 Apr 2010   #1
Lee

Win 7 Pro x64, VM Win XP, Win7 Pro Sandbox, Kubuntu 11
 
 
Format shifting dead trees: can e-book piracy be ethica

Found this over on ars technica, and found it quite interesting. Thought some of you might enjoy a little reading on a truly interesting topic.


Format shifting dead trees: can e-book piracy be ethical?

By Nate Anderson

A question of ethics: say you want a new novel badóreally badóbut you want the digital version for your Kindle/iPad/Sony Reader. The publisher, hoping to goose sales of the book in hardcover for $28, isn't about to offer a $10 e-book version until the novel comes out in paperback. So you buy the hardcover and then pirate a homebrew e-book, which someone has helpfully made available in one of the darker corners of the Internet. Should you be fitted for an eye patch and peg leg?
As a matter of law, you probably are a pirate (or, to be accurate, an infringer). But the interesting question isn't one of law, it's one of ethics, and New York Times syndicated columnist Randy Cohen tackled the conundrum in last week's "The Ethicist" column.
His answer might surprise you, appearing as it does in the pages and on the websites of newspapers, which are so concerned about piracy that many are lobbying for a new federal "hot news" law.
"An illegal download isóto use an ugly wordóillegal. But in this case, it is not unethical," writes Cohen. "Author and publisher are entitled to be paid for their work, and by purchasing the hardcover, you did so. Your subsequent downloading is akin to buying a CD, then copying it to your iPod.



Read More


What do you think?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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08 Apr 2010   #2

W7 Ult. x64 | OS X
 
 

Personally, I'm not a fan of stealing products, but I don't mind if you use an "illegal" copy to evaluate the product. Basically, give yourself a window to test the product and if you plan on using it after that point, buy it.

I.E.
Program - Give yourself a week.
Tv Shows - Give yourself 2 episodes out of a season
Movie - Watch the first 15-20 minutes
Book - Read the first chapter or two.

Granted, this is obviously not a real policy in any regard. This already works to a certain extent. In many e-book sites you can download the first chapter or two. Many software programs give you 30 days access to a trial version. It's a little more of a grey area when it comes to visual media but I think you guys get the drift.

EDIT: I may be putting my neck on the chopping block with this position, but I don't see any reason to keep my mouth shut on the subject.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Apr 2010   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Well, as an owner of a Kindle I think one of the key features to my enjoyment of the device is that I can get new books for $10 or thereabouts. It would be extremely disappointing if I had to wait for a year + to purchase the copy of the book for $10 on the Kindle. Plus, if I could physically get a paperback for $7.99 at the store..why would I buy the $10 kindle version...usually the Kindle paperbacks are like $4.

I personally think there are enough people without the technology that the publishers should continue to make lots of sales on the actual hard covers and I think as people begin to shift towards ebook readers the lower prices will result in more people taking a chance and buying the book. I mean, with hardcovers..you have cost of printing, shipping, etc which are all eliminated with electronic copies...thus the electronic copies can cost less and still net similar profits.

The other thing that has to be taken into account is the sharing of physical books. I know that I have purchased numerous hard covers that I have read and then shared with many coworkers and family members who also wanted to read the book, but weren't willing to pay $30 for it. But I'm not about to bring my Kindle to work and give it to a coworker so they can read the $4 copy of Shutter Island that I bought.

One benefit of the ebook format is that I don't have to find a place to store copies of all of these books...but on the downside I am unable to sell the book back at a used bookstore in electronic format.

I see nothing wrong with format shifting for personal use as long as you purchased the original...but don't share it with others. There is a big difference with buying a book and letting a friend borrow it, versus copying an e-book and distributing it freely to thousands on a p2p site.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


08 Apr 2010   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate X64 SP1
 
 

i think in a way i agree with this bit
Quote:
"Author and publisher are entitled to be paid for their work, and by purchasing the hardcover, you did so. Your subsequent downloading is akin to buying a CD, then copying it to your iPod.
i will probably get shot for saying this... but a few weeks ago i bought a game, i got it home, and it didnt work due to a disk problem, as i bought it second hand i couldn't get a refund, so i went and downloaded it from a torrent site, now to me i dont think i did anything wrong, i bought the copy fair and square, i put my LEGAL license key in to it, its just the method i obtained it by was technically illegal
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Apr 2010   #5

Windows 7 x64 Ultimate
 
 

Personally I think it was actually less ethical to kill a tree to feel good about using an illegal version off the net than the act of using the illegal copy itself.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Apr 2010   #6
Lee

Win 7 Pro x64, VM Win XP, Win7 Pro Sandbox, Kubuntu 11
 
 

Like Park I too have a Kindle, and fine it a very good devise. As to hardback books I have a rather large collection that I have purchased over the past forty years, and now I can see no reason to buy a hard with eBooks coming down in price. It is just nice to be able to go on line and download a book onto the Kindle then set back and read. The Kindle is also great when I go back packing for a couple of days at a time. It is light weight enough to carry a long so I can set by the fire at night and read.

Now paper back books are nice to have because they are easy to trade with others. When I make my three month trip to the VA for checkups I know that there will be a huge stack of paper backs other veterans and veteran groups will bring in, so I take all the ones I have bought or trade others with along with me for trading. The motto at the VA is "Take One, Leave One."
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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